Dreamers and Dreams: New York and the Early Musical Film

The city that never sleeps and the least sleepy genre are a match made in heaven.

The early musicals were similar to the early animations: raucous, irreverent, and intensely urban. New York City was a haven for both. From Lights of New York to The Broadway Melody, the stage musical’s home became home to the film musical.

Marie-Andrée Fortier’s video essay documents the geographic genre relationship with precision and passion, explaining the connection in a number of ways.

As Busby Berkeley and the singing/dancing duos moved the genre all over and the music evolved away from the showmanship of the stage, “classical” became “modern” and nostalgia returned to the city. Or, in something like La La Land, a city, anyways.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).